Despite Gary’s departure, this was actually one of the better Running Man months in (my) recent memory.
#324: Goodbye, Gary
I had half expected that Gary’s farewell episode (well, the first half of his farewell, at least) would be something a bit…grander. You know, one of those episodes where one of the members is the star/main character with all sorts of racing about and ridiculous hijinks and constant focus on Gary.
Instead we got a quieter, more intimate episode, with small, silly games and a hidden mission that Gary never quite caught on to. It felt like an everyday, the-draw-is-the-banter episode, which is both bittersweet and also fitting for a departure episode.
(And of course I cried at the end of this episode–between Ji-hyo starting to cry and all the touching letters and presents at the end, I stood no chance.)
I don’t know if it will make my rewatch list; we’ll have to see how I feel in a week or so. Right now I’m mostly sad about saying goodbye, even though I’ve known this was coming for months now.
#325: Deficiency Travel
The second half of Gary’s farewell was actually really funny. Honestly, it was one of the better “themed” episodes we’ve had for a while, since the theme (missing/lacking something, i.e., Gary) actually directly impacted not just the kind of games they did but also how they accomplished things.
(I cracked up over them putting $2 and $1.50 worth of gas in the van at a time. I don’t know why it was so funny to me–probably because of their embarrassment, probably also because the attendants knew all about it when they had to come back to the exact same station.)
Their clinginess (aka, repeatedly having to go back to Gary for missions) was cute, and it was a fun, less melancholy farewell than the previous episode. I think I’m satisfied with Gary’s departure now, and this will probably make my rewatch list.
#326: Find the Rice Thief
This was one of those episodes that was fun in the moment but easily forgotten about twenty-four hours later. (I remember the art relay and the final elimination relay, but for the life of me, I can’t remember what happened before that. Oh well.)
That said, this episode made me laugh a lot, so if you’re a fan of the guests, this will probably be a good one to revisit on a day where you need something low-key and insubstantial. It did its job of moving us past Gary’s departure and keeping us focused on the present, so kudos to them for that.
#327: Bromance War
Have I told you recently that (despite not finishing/even trying his last…four? dramas) I absolutely adore Jo Jung-suk? I do. Very much so. I didn’t know that he came back to RM, so his appearance was a delightful surprise.
Why yes I stayed up late on a work night in order to hear him sing.
A more rational me would stick this episode in the pleasant but probably not going to rewatch pile with its cute concept, low-key mini-games, and eh final mission, but Jung-suk made me happy, so rewatch it is.